Badminton: Top seeds foil England

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England were within a few points of upsetting Denmark, the top seeds at the European venue of the world team championships, before losing 3-2 in the Women's Uber Cup at Glasgow yesterday, writes James Leigh.

There was a brilliant win by Gillian Gowers and Joanne Wright over the world bronze medallists Lotte Olsen and Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen, but the defeat leaves the team in much greater danger than

expected of failing to reach the world team finals in Jakarta for the first time.

England were soon 2-0 down after Camilla Martin and the European champion, Pernille Nedergaard had won in straight games against Suzanne Louis-Lane and Fiona Smith. But an exciting comeback was begun by Alison Humby, who followed her win against the Netherlands on Thursday with another against Anne Sondergaard by 11-5, 11-8.

Many would have made England favourites to win the decider after the win by Gower and Wright but Gill Clark's injured knee looked to be troubling her and despite a fine performance by Julie Bradbury, the pair lost 15-9, 6-15,

15-10 to Marlene Thomsen and Anne Mette Bille.